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Cleveland Indians

Beckham making waves for ChiSox

By jcfortun Published: March 9, 2009

One of the better stories beginning to formulate this spring training comes out of the camp of one of the Indian’s top rivals: the Chicago White Sox.

Shortstop Gordon Beckham, who the Pale Hosers nabbed with the eighth pick overall in last year’s draft, is already making plenty of noise at the big league level.

Beckham doubled three times in five at bats Sunday to improve on his already stellar spring. Beckham is currently 6-18 with all of his hits going for extra bases (four doubles, two homers).

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has liked what he has seen so far from the young star and has said Beckham could push the issue of joining the White Sox earlier than expected. Guillen had this to say in an MLB.com story:

"He's had a great Spring Training and he's making it tougher on us to make that decision," said Guillen of Beckham. "He continues to impress everybody. It seems like he belongs in the big leagues.

"Right now, we have [25] games left. If he continues to do that, then we have to think about what we're going to do. I'm really, really impressed with him, but in the meanwhile, I think we have more talent behind him that can help us, too."

Beckham has never played higher than Class A, but Baseball America called him the “top college shortstop” and “one of the most polished players” in last year’s draft.

Remember, The Tampa Bay Rays took high school shortstop Tim Beckham, no relation, with the first overall pick.

Gordon Beckham brings plenty of pop to the plate. He tied for the NCAA lead in 2008 by hitting 28 homers while his .411 batting average was the best at Georgia since 1982. He flirted with a .400 average in the Arizona Fall League as well (.394/.468/.652).

Perhaps the biggest question with Beckham, like so many other talented shortstop prospects, is if he can stay at the position or not.

The White Sox moved Alexei Ramirez to shortstop this off season and, depending on how that transition goes, Beckham could be ticketed to second base, where he has seen time this Spring.

That position should sit just fine though, as Baseball Prospectus points out that some see Beckham as the next Chase Utley.

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